You have to pay rent to your landlord, whether that’s the Housing Executive, a housing association or a private landlord. When you’re offered a property you should be told how much the rent is and how much your rates and service charges are. If you're not given this information, make sure you ask for it before agreeing to take on a property.
The amount of benefits tenants get towards rent will not always match up to the amount of rent you charge. Instead, the amount of benefit paid depends on the size of the claimant's household, their personal circumstances and the area in which they live.
You must pay rent to your landlord in return for living in the property. If you stop paying your rent, are late with a payment or do not pay in full, your landlord may begin eviction proceedings against you.
The bedroom tax is a reduction in Housing Benefit for people who live in a property that is owned by NIHE or a housing association and that is too large for their household. Its proper name is the “social sector size criteria”, but most people call it the “bedroom tax”.
If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to benefits to help you pay your rent. Most people who rent privately have their entitlement to benefit worked out under a system called Local Housing Allowance.
If you rent your home from the Housing Executive or a housing association and you receive Housing Benefit, the amount of money you receive could be reduced if your home has too many bedrooms. Find out how many rooms your household is allowed.
Your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will be reduced if the Government says you have too many bedrooms. However, for the next few years, the money that you lose will be replaced from a separate fund. Politicians at the Assembly have set up a fund to offset these cuts to Housing Benefit, meaning that most people in Northern Ireland will not actually lose out financially because of the changes.